When it comes to self-defense, there are a number of factors that you must consider. You need to decide on the right pistol, gun holster — and even the right bullet.
Bullets may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are thinking about self-defense, but they should be a very important part of your strategy.
There are many different bullets on the market, and with so many options, choosing the right one may be difficult.
You have hollow point, full metal jacket and +p to name a few, and if you are new to self-defense or have never considered picking a bullet, it can become a little overwhelming.
We want to make it a little easier with a list of our favorites ammo types and some expert advice that can help you decide the right bullet for your needs.
Full Metal Jacket
Full metal jacket is one of the most popular ammo choices for target practice. It is also the bullet that the military uses because it is considered the most humane, according to the Geneva convention. It features a bullet that has a cover over it, and it’s usually made from copper.
That cover is what gives it the name full metal jacket. This outer casing allows the bullet to travel through the target completely, thanks to its streamlined design that helps maintain its foundation by mushrooming and not splitting up.
Since this bullet maintains its shape on contact, it is considered more humane because it will not splinter when it hits its target, avoiding the extra damage caused by shrapnel. While this may be an effective tool on the battlefield, you may want to reconsider when choosing a self-defense bullet.
The last thing you want is for your bullet to hit your target and go through him. If it does, you run the risk of injuring an innocent person that could be behind them.
This is particularly important if you are shooting a home intruder, as you may inadvertently injure a family member. Instead, this is a great bullet to choose for a day at the range because it is inexpensive to produce.
Our recommendation for Full Metal Jacket: Wolf Ammunition, Remington, Brass Eagle
The hollow point round is one of the most popular bullets when it comes to self-defense.
It offers capabilities that are far superior to the full metal jacket. It is probably the most popular type of ammo among law enforcement officers.
The hollow point has the tip of the bullet hollowed out. This allows for the bullet to expand rapidly upon impact, causing the most damage possible to the target.
This happens because the extra energy of momentum of travel makes the bullet rapidly expand when it is suddenly stopped by a target, causing trauma from the tiny exploding projectile.
The downside to this type of bullet is that the hole up front will create some drag, causing the bullet’s range to be cut down, meaning you will cover less distance with it. However, since most self-defense situations are up close and personal, this is not a major concern for most who conceal and carry.
You want to have some type of jacketed hollow point ammunition in your everyday carry. It is the best choice when it comes to self-defense because it is effective and reliable.
It will not go through your target, making it a safer choice for shooting within your home or out on the street. While you may give up some accuracy at a long range, it is a more effective round and a great bullet for your concealed carry.
Our recommendation: Hornady Critical Duty, Federal Premium Personal Defense
+P has become an increasingly popular bullet choice for avid shooters. This type of ammunition has been loaded to a higher pressure standard than regular ammunition to increase the muzzle velocity and increase the overall stopping power of the bullet.
The increase in pressure helps to make this another good choice for a self-defense round. However, it is extremely important to point out that you should only use +P ammunition in a gun that can handle the increased pressure.
It may not be available for some guns, so it is best to check with a manufacturer before you shoot +P with your gun.
There are two other drawbacks that come with shooting +P. The increase pressure will give you more recoil and a larger muzzle blast.
A skilled shooter is well-trained to absorb the extra recoil, but if you’re using +P in a self-defense situation, it is likely that you will not notice the difference, due to your raised adrenaline levels.
+P is a great choice for self-defense for the right shooter. The increase in the pressure allows you to have more stopping power. You can usually find these bullets in either full metal jacket or hollow point.
Choosing the right ammo doesn’t have to be difficult. The three basic types of ammo listed here all have pros and cons, and deciding which one to use will require you to go to the range and test different brands. Like most things in shooting, you’ll have to decide exactly what feel right to you.
Full metal jacket is great for a day at the range, but while it is effective, it is not the ideal choice for personal protection. You will want to choose some type of hollow point round bullet, as these are built for personal protection.
+P is another good choice, but it is important that you check with your gun manufacturer before you shoot load it in your gun.
Also, it is important to go to the range regularly to practice with the ammo you have in your everyday carry. That is the best way to ensure that you are efficient and prepared in any situation.